Reviews

Specs-80 PLUS Gold 500W SilverStone FX500

The OEM behind the fx500 platform is Channel-Well Tech (CWT), a company that has developed and marketed several Flex-ATX platforms for 1U systems in the past. However, none of them were as powerful as this variant. The textbook filtering floor is cluttered and protected right behind the AC outlet, which is not a surprise due to the lack of space.
There is only one heat sink of significant size inside the power supply, which is used to cool the two transistors that form a typical primary inversion stage of the middle bridge. The primary APFC capacitor is a 400V/220µf electrolytic capacitor manufactured by Nippon Chemi-Con and is supported by a very large coil that takes up almost as much volume as the main power transformer.

The conversion step on the secondary side is also simplistic, with only one pair of MOSFETs generating a single 12V line. the other voltage lines are generated by DC-DC converters mounted on secondary boards. Almost all secondary capacitors are solid-state polymer products and are supplied by apaq, a Taiwanese manufacturer. The wires are soldered directly near the edges of the main PCB. The power designer clearly had no hope of turning this platform into a modular design without increasing the length of the unit – there is simply not enough space for connectors.

SilverStone FX500

In terms of quality, the SilverStone FX500 is a well-designed and manufactured power supply. Channel-Well Technologies is one of the renowned OEM projects often found in advanced PC power supplies and SilverStone has ensured that the FX500 is assembled with excellent quality components, the combination of which should result in a highly reliable product. Considering that these platforms were originally intended to power 1U servers 24/7, the longevity of the FX500 is virtually assured.

However, the performance of the SilverStone FX500 left us with mixed feelings. On the plus side, the electrical performance of the power supply is very good, especially after taking into account the huge space constraints that designers have faced. It provides good feed quality and the efficiency is high as advertised. However, thermal performance is virtually incomparable to more typical ATX power supplies, and as you would expect from such a compact power supply, thermal stress became an issue when the unit was operating inside our hot box. This is a borderline case for most users, since few people like to hang out in rooms above 40 degrees Celsius, but it will show how the cooling power supply is right on the edge of the knife. However, the SilverStone FX500 PSU was able to operate normally even when its internal temperature was very high, but it eventually stopped when forced to stop from its protection circuit.

SilverStone FX500

Unfortunately, the thermal counterpart, noise, has proven to be a major concern, and we believe this is the Achilles heel of the SilverStone FX500. Simply put, the power supply is noisy, which usually excludes its use in any type of home computer. Most people will find that the noise generated by the 40 mm fan is intolerable even when the system is idling, and under high loads it is also noticeable through the headphones.

PSU SilverStone FX500

Ultimately, this type of noise would not be a problem for server applications, but it is one of the main deciding factors for home users. That’s why we think it significantly limits the market potential of the SilverStone FX500; there just aren’t many scenarios where a solid power supply fits into the consumer space. In the meantime, we hope that SilverStone can learn from the FX500 and that future Flex ATX implementations can better balance its power and thermal performance and ultimately provide quieter power supplies to home PC manufacturers. Photo: SilverStonetek

SilverStone FX500 specs:


ColorBlack (Lead-Free Paint)
Combined +3.3V & +5V90W
Combined +12V500W
Input Voltage90 ~ 264 Vrms
Input Frequency Range47Hz ~ 63Hz
PFCActive PFC (PF>0.9 at full load)
Efficiency87%~90%(20% to 100% loading)
MTBF100,000 hours
Operating temperature0°C ~ 40°C
ProtectionOver Power Protection
Over Voltage Protection
Short Circuit Protection
Over-Temperature Protection
Connectors1 x 24 / 20-Pin motherboard connector(350mm)
1 x 8 / 4-Pin EPS / ATX 12V connector(450mm)
2 x 8 / 6-Pin PCIe connector(350mm / 150mm)
4 x SATA connector(350mm / 150mm / 150mm / 150mm)
3 x 4-Pin Peripheral connector(350mm / 150mm / 150mm)
1 x 4-Pin Floppy adapter connector(150mm)
Cooling SystemSingle 40mm silent fan
Form factorFlex ATX
Noise Level20 dBA minimum
Dimension81.5 mm (W) x 40.5 mm (H) x 150 mm (D)
3.21″ (W) x 1.59″ (H) x 5.91″ (D)
Weight0.96 kg
Certification80 PLUS Gold
OtherGPU Support list
Compatible with ATX12V v2.4

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